Big Sandy Arena Having "Record Shattering" 2017

Updated 2 years ago by Tony Rutherford HuntingtonNews.Net Reporter

Ticket revenue for the Big Sandy Superstore Arena has risen 220% said Rik Edgar as he spoke to members of Huntington City Council Thursday, March 9.

Edgar reminded council that a 2012 economic impact study indicated that the arena returned $17 million dollars in economic benefits from attendees shopping, eating, or staying overnight in Huntington.

"Revenue is up (this year) so that (impact) is up, too," Edgar told council.

Contractually, the city has to "invest" annually in the BSSA. Those funds have been coming from Coal Severance money, but that state revenue has dipped reflecting the down turn in the coal industry. The city will contribute around $470,000 to its operation. Of that, $150,000 comes from "naming rights" that are paid to the city and passed through to the BSSA.

Although concerts have been setting records, Edgar said that "the market will not support one every weekend."

SMG, the national company that manages BSSA, has implemented a three prong strategy which consists of adding partners/sponsors (on a multiple year basis), stabilizing annual events ( through multi year deals), and enhancing use of the conference center.

BSSA has nine full time employees but studies indicate that the spillover from economic impact equals about 194 equivalent jobs, such as about $600,000 for union stage hands.

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